Writerly Things 5/18/2020: Writing Short Stories
Do you write short stories as well as longer works? It could be good exercises to do the former along with your other writing. Writing muscles develop the longer we practice something. With books, it might take years to finish the product. Short stories can be done much quicker, sometimes a week or two.
Makes You More Productive.
Ray Bradbury always encouraged a writer to spend some time writing short stories. It gives you a good feeling when you finish something and the more times you do it, the more you might gain confidence in yourself. You should submit to markets with them as well to get yourself used to submitting. You might get rejected but you might not. A lot of well-known writers champion the short story as beginning ground for anyone. Even if you’ve been writing a long time. A slot in an anthology might get your name known to readers and encourage others to publish you.
Gets You Dealing with Story Mechanics.
You don’t have as much room to deal with a story in a short one. Therefore, every word counts. This will get you being more thoughtful and economical. You will choose the better words. Also, there’s not as much room for character development so you’re forced to make shorter arcs in the story. It will open your eyes to the possibilities. Your plot will tighten considerably as you grow more and more familiar with the process.
You Can Always Use Them for a Promotion Piece if Necessary.
Offer them to your readers as they come to visit your site. Show them that you are what you say. Sooner or later, you have to produce work if you call yourself a writer. Writing short stories offers an avenue to do so. It encourages others to read our work. We can always write stories that take place independent of our book. That focus on a specific event, what might have drawn the power to life in our series. Offering up such a story might encourage others to buy your book if they like it.
Your Tools Will Grow.
Each form you learn, be it short story, poem, novella, or novel teaches you different methods of craft. Doing your best to learn each will serve your future. You will be able to go back and forth between them, always having a path to follow. Obviously, you’ll be able to move short stories and poems in volume more than the others. If you want to be the best writer YOU can be, practice all these. Always be learning, studying, mastering your craft. Never believe you’ve reached a plateau and have nothing else to accomplish. When you think like that, you stop growing as a writer, and the end will come.
Genres Abound in any Form.
Experiment with different genres. Try your hand with as many as you like. This too will encourage growth in your writing. Short stories will get your feet wet in areas that you might not be as familiar with. You will discover if you like that genre or not before you commit to a book. See how things work out in sci-fi, romance, mystery, and more. No one has to see the story if you don’t want them to. Test a small few on the work before you go deeper. It’s a great way to cover ground.
Yes, short stories can benefit us in many ways. Faster, more immediate. They help us to test theories as well as characters. If they work out, you’ll know to go deeper in longer stories.